Striking the elusive work-life balance

meditateFive tips to help you experience entrepreneurial Zen

By Holly Soave

Hi entrepreneurs! You’ve probably already discovered that starting your own business takes more work than you could have imagined.

But summer is a time for friends, family, and making memories, right?

“Work-life balance” is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world, and for good reason. It’s important to learn early on in your journey how to balance your personal and professional lives, and develop a successful future in each sphere.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips and tricks to help you make awesome summer memories with friends, spend time at the cottage with family, and take your business to the next level—all the while getting enough sleep. #win

1. Set goals

You can’t achieve balance if you don’t know what balance is. Set your priorities for the summer in the form of goals or even a “summer bucket list.” Include every aspect of your life that you want to work on: business, physical and mental health, relationships with friends and family, hobbies, etc. Keep these on a sticky note next to your calendar, planner, or computer—it’ll serve as a reminder checklist and constant motivator.

2. Schedule, schedule, schedule

I know, I know. But summer is time for freedom and relaxation, not sticking to a schedule! Here’s the thing: scheduling actually helps you balance your priorities. Schedule your week ahead of time—coffee dates with friends, visits to see your great-aunt, time to work on your guitar skills, your “me-time” for relaxing, even bedtime. Make a point of writing it in your planner or email calendar. Schedule everything as if it were a very important appointment—sometimes with yourself. You’re less likely to skip your gym class if it’s penciled into your calendar.

Scheduling your day or week in advance can help you spot what’s missing. If you see that you haven’t booked time with friends this week, catching that beforehand creates a better opportunity to make plans now instead of at the last minute (or not at all).

Scheduling also helps keep you on track. Blocking off 9am-2pm to set up your new website gives you a hard deadline, which serves as better motivation to get it done rather than having an open schedule.

3. Double-book yourself

If it’s not distracting, try to work on two goals at once: take a workout class with a friend or listen to an audiobook in the car on your way home from meeting a client. Doing this helps you get more done during the day and gets you one step closer to meeting your goals.

4. Delegate or automate

If there are tasks in your business that take up time and need to be done, but could be done by someone else, consider delegating or automating. For example, if you get a lot of emails about the same thing, consider creating a template response email or putting the information on your website to minimize time spent emailing. If you normally write social media posts but are swamped with other tasks, consider asking someone else to write them.

5. Turn your phone off

But I’m a small business owner! I can’t turn my phone off! Yes, you can turn off your phone, or at least not have to worry about taking calls or emails during dinner with family. Consider asking someone you trust inside the business to take care of the phone while you’re away.

At the very least, stop checking your email on your phone every five minutes. When you’re with family or friends, really be there and enjoy their presence. Make the most out of your time with them!

Using these tips will help you save time and energy so you can effectively balance all of your priorities. Get everything you want this summer!

Tweet us your #summergoals and #bucketlist! @MyStartUpCA


HollyHolly Soave is a Public Policy and Entrepreneurship Intern at CFIB. She has been involved with multiple small businesses, including two ventures of her own. When she isn’t studying for her HBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business or working on growing her businesses, she enjoys writing, hiking, and baking for friends and family. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

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